Shortland Street. New Zealand's national soap opera. A pile of steaming waste that for some reason remains successful to this very day. How I loathe its very existence. Pulpy soap operas annoy me, even more so when I am kind of sort of maybe actually paying for them. The fact the government funds this because it's a local creative endeavour shows a distinct lack of priorities in this benighted country. Apparently even the die-hard lifetime fans who have watched every episode think it's a load of crap. Not just "Sometimes the acting's off," or "Okay, some of the storylines are silly," but they actually think the whole thing is terrible.

Nonetheless, despite never having seen a single episode of the show, I know the most famous line from it. Naturally, it's online - without any context at all. The basic premise, so far as I can infer from the clip, is that whatever maverick medical shenanigans Dr. Ropata wants to try, they will not be acceptable, and he had better just forget about that sort of thing now he's back from Guatemala.

It became a pointlessly repeated comment immediately and kept rolling around the country for years - despite never, ever being used within the context of "that sort of thing won't do around here" that is apparent from the actual line. It's the retarded penguin of memes, able to survive despite being silly enough to swim to the wrong hemisphere and then stand on an ice floe saying "Awk" to some polar bears. But then I suppose that's it - it survived because it's just so ridiculous sitting there on it's own that no-one will ever let it die.

While everyone remembers that Dr Ropata was played by Temuera Morrison (better known around the world as both Jango Fett and millions of Storm Troopers), the actual line was delivered by someone called Lisa Crittenden, who appears to have made a long career out of soap dramas.

Apparently it's now getting obscure (thank goodness). It seems the most likely way to make it resurface is to introduce a New Zealander to someone from Guatemala. Since the net result is a smug and self-assured prat mocking someone's home country, it's probably not a good idea. The only time I ever see the line is the occasional incredulous "Why are New Zealanders always saying this to me?" comment online. I suspect that the sort of people who think this is hilarious to say don't realise that no-one else on the planet knows much at all about this insignificant little country.

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